Lauren K Alleyne

Lauren K Alleyne

Bios & Bookmarks is just one of the new online offerings being rolled out by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest as people everywhere suffer the loss of the outdoor life. The literary NGO is ramping up its live virtual programming in an effort to connect book lovers at home and throughout the diaspora with the plethora of superb Caribbean writers.

Today at 2 p.m., the second in this series presents award-winning US-based TT writer and educator Lauren K Alleyne, whose second collection of poems Honeyfish (Peepal Tree Press) was shortlisted in the poetry category of the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize. Alleyne’s writing covers poetry, fiction and non-fiction but she is also active in the promotion and advancement of under-represented poets.

Last Sunday (5 April), the NGC Bocas Lit Fest premiered its Bios & Bookmarks “Instagram Live” series, a weekly conversation between Caribbean authors and acclaimed poet Shivanee Ramlochan, also the social media coordinator for the region’s premier annual literary festival.

The inaugural hour-long digital event featured TT author Caroline Mackenzie reading from her debut novel One Year of Ugly and fielding questions from Ramlochan and a virtual audience tuned in on the popular social media platform from the comfort of their homes.

“It may be a time for social distancing, but this global pandemic shutdown provides a great opportunity to get a little up close and personal with our Caribbean writers, new and familiar, across the region and elsewhere. We think, more than anything else, the positive feedback from our first session revealed that this may be yet another way for us to feed our community, to share comfort, laughter and insights, as we navigate these uncertain times,” says Festival founder and director Marina Salandy-Brown.

Members of the public are invited to join the conversation, pose questions and share perspectives by following Bocas Lit Fest (@bocaslitfest) on Instagram. Today’s virtual event will start promptly at 2 p.m.

Updates on upcoming weekly episodes of Bios & Bookmarks will be available across all Bocas Lit Fest social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and at bocaslitfest.com. For further details, email info@bocaslitfest.com.

TT’s annual literary festival is scheduled for 18-20 September. Its title sponsor is the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. First Citizens is lead sponsor, The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and OCM are main sponsors. NLCB, Massy Foundation and UWI are sponsors.

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